/ new climber & grigri
The GriGri is a great device, particularly for sport climbing - I use it all the time - but there have been many incidents of misuse which have led to accidents. If you do get one make sure you take care to learn where it's appropriate to use it and how to do so safely.
If you have a belay device already my advice wouyld be to use that first and get used to it before moving on to anything different.
Both really. They can be very slick with new or thin ropes. They can be attached to the rope the wrong way round. And they can lock open easily if the belayer squeezes it in a panic when the leader falls.
Like I said they are great in the right hands but they do take a bit of knowledge and getting used to. As long as you're aware of that and are careful there shouldn't be a problem. Other people will no doubt disagree - underatandably when some have seen or had accidents with them - but in reality most sportclimbers use them almost all of the time.
Sorry, didn't really mean to imply that the device itself can malfunction. Just that it can be easy to use it inappropriately.
It's lighter, cheaper and IMO more intuitive to use than a GriGri and it's more difficult to get wrong. I am constantly surprised by how few you see about. Everyone who has asked me about mine and tried it has been impressed.
There is no point if you are new to climbing in spending your hard earned on a specialist device that you do not need. A gri gri is no better than an attentive belayer in most scenarios so stick with your belay plate and add the money saved to the quickdraw fund (I hate calling them that! Extenders damnit!) or even better trad gear :-)
I agree with EZ, a standard belay device will do you fine at the moment, save the money for something else. That being said I love my gri gri to bits, and when people are working routes it's the best thing ever.
> It's lighter, cheaper and IMO more intuitive to use than a GriGri and it's more difficult to get wrong. I am constantly surprised by how few you see about. Everyone who has asked me about mine and tried it has been impressed.
The trouble with the Mammut Smart (to save anyone clicking on the link) is that they are neither fish nor fowl and represent a middle ground in both funtionality and versatility. Since nearly everyone is going to have a traditional device to cope with single and double ropes and abseiling and the dedicated sport climber will probably have a Grigri as well which is undoubtedly better for working routes there doesn“t seem a lot of point in having a third device.
Trad does have more inherent risk and you may favour sport for the relative safety that it brings to climbing. In trad, besides gear coming out also the distance between pieces of protection can vary greatly and tends to go up as you climb through the grades and the rated breaking strain of each piece may be from 14Kn down to 2Kn depending on it's size and how it is constructed. Trad isn't just about using cams though. There are other active devices such as tricams and (sliding) ball nuts and there are many quite different forms of passive protection too which range from the very small RPs and Micro Stoppers all the way through to large hexes the size of your fist. From the starting point of already having a harness, rope, belay device, shoes and a helmet, a rack can be ready to go in about £200 - £250 and can take years to be fully added to, bit by bit.
Some people don't want the added risk and some people don't want to or are unable to afford to get the gear involved, which is fair enough.
What may be a cost for you, if you think that trad climbing is something that you would like to get into, is that after climbing only sport for say a year or two before moving to trad it may result in some disappointment about how difficult the climbs are that you can manage when you start out in trad initially. It is not uncommon for say a 6a+/6b outdoor climber to be stuck at severe or hard severe when moving into trad because the head game is more pronounced than they expected it to be. You don't have to make a decision now, but it is certainly worth considering. People stay with both disciplines exclusively as much as people crossover and do both. And if you want some inspiration then here is a video that you may not have seen from a month or two back on UKC: http://www.ukclimbing.com/videos/play.php?i=1036
Certainly if you haven't got a helmet then spend your gri gri money on that and whatever sort of climbing you are planning on doing. Good luck and stay safe :-)
I know a lot of people swear by them, but personally I don't like them Give me a good old bug anytime which is so versatile, suitable for sport and trad, including multi pitch and can be used for abbing if you need to keep weight down on a mountain route.
I have to confess to a certain bias however as some one once dropped me using a GriGri and another person informed me, just as I was contemplating the crux, that she had it the wrong way round. I sold mine after I was told that the way I was using it was unsafe (Everyone was using them that way at the time). I found the improved method a bit awkward and never really got on with it after that. The new versions do seem better in that regard however. I think that they are over rated. They are heavy, expensive and easy to use incorrectly. I wish for the life of me I could find the early adverts because I bought mine on the understanding that it was a failsafe, handsfree device. I feel certain that the advice to never let go of the dead rope came much later by which time they were dominating the market.
Assisted-braking Belay Devices
Look on UKC type in the above and compare the sport belay devices.
I use a Click up and find it for me and my wife the best as it automaticly locks up like last month when I fell around 25ft on a runout sport route in the Gorge du Tarn, which my wife caught me with no problem.
another vote for the smart, its a brilliant bit of kit.
Great devices if treated like any other belay device, its not a hands free device.
Also be sure to get a rope the fits the device ie for the original design 10mm+ and for version 2 that can handle down to 7mm if I remember correctly.
Use mine mostly for sports and toproping. Then have a Reverso 3 for evrything else, also have to use the reverso with one of my partners that doesnt like mechanical devices.
Much safer is going a bit far, many would say there are no safety advantages at all and I“d be one.
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